They say a fine wine gets better with age. If so, it’ll probably also get better if you just throw a 4.5 billion year old meteorite in there as well, right? That might be up for debate, but that hasn’t stopped Ian Hutcheon from doing exactly that to produce his space-tastic wine Meteorito: “The wine that’s made with a really old rock in it.” I’m not sure that’s the official Meteorito tagline, but it might as well be.
What kind of person would make such a wine? The kind of person who owns and operates a vineyard and an astronomy center in Chile, like Hutcheon does. The wine is a cabernet sauvignon and sells for about $11 a bottle. Hutcheon has made over 2,500 gallons of the stuff –Meteorito that is– so far, and it packs a decent punch at 14.5% alcohol.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, but what about the meteorite? Well it’s about 3 inches long and was found in the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile where it probably landed around 6,000 years ago. It was donated to Hutcheon by a U.S. collector, and ever since, Hutcheon has been letting it sit in each batch of his wine as it ferments for 25 days. As you might expect, the addition of the meteorite proved a little troubling at first; Hutcheon describes the meteorite’s inclusion as “quite aggressive.” As such, he carefully filters the wine to keep out any nasty side effects. The end result is a wine that is “livelier” than it would have been otherwise, and one were the average age of the ingredients comes out to around 2.25 billion years.
Of course, it’s not just “chuckin’ a rock into a barrel o’ wine” to Hutcheon; it’s a little more poetic than that. He put it this way when talking to the Daily Mail:
The idea behind the project was to blend my passion for both astronomy and enology in a real, physical way rather than just a symbolic one, and give everybody the chance to touch an element of space and taste particles of the birth of the solar system via a very good handcrafted wine. My observatory is just 10 kilometres [six miles] as the condor flies from our Tremonte vineyard.
I mean, whatever works for you, right? Shine on you crazy meteorite.
(via The Daily Mail)
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